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Tras Honan.
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Tras Honan, the first and only woman to serve as Seanad Cathaoirleach, dies aged 93

Honan was a senator between 1977 and 1992 and was elected Cathaoirleach twice.

THE FORMER CATHAOIRLEACH of Seanad Éireann Tras Honan has died at the age of 93.

Honan was a native of Clonmel in County Tipperary and a member of the famous Barlow family in the town. She is the only woman to serve as Seanad Cathaoirleach since the foundation of the state.

Honan was a senator between 1977 and 1992 and was elected Cathaoirleach twice. When her sister Carrie Acheson was elected to Dáil Éireann in 1981 they were the first sisters to serve as Oireachtas members at the same time. Carrie, who was also known as the ‘Voice of the Ploughing Championships’, passed away in January of this year.

Following her retirement from national politics, Honan relocated to her Waterford home at John’s Hill. In her new role as Chairperson of Bus Éireann, she led the development and construction of Waterford Bus Station at Merchant’s Quay.

Honan later served on the Board of Management at Mercy Primary School.

A member of the Fianna Fáil party, Honan is closely associated with Clare politics after she moved to Ennis in the 1950’s. She successfully ran the Honan family pub there before entering national politics.

She was the first woman elected to the then-Ennis Urban District Council, and later the first female chairperson of the council. Her late husband Derry Honan and father-in-law TV Honan both served in Seanad Éireann.

In 2022 the former Cathaoirleach returned to Leinster House for Centenary celebrations of Seanad Éireann. She is included in a collage of images depicting all women senators for the past one-hundred years, which now hangs in the Houses of the Oireachtas.

Honan passed away after a short illness at her home in County Waterford earlier today. She is survived by her son TV Honan, daughter Ann Honan-Croke, her brother Aidan Barlow, and her grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

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